Hundreds of Natterjack toadlets have been released back into the wild in Kerry.
The endangered Natterjack toad population received a timely boost with the release of almost 500 captive-reared toadlets in Castlegregory today.
The natural range of the Natterjack toad is restricted to the coastal zones of Castlemaine Harbour and Castlegregory. The species suffered significant losses in range and population in the early 20th century due to land reclamation and changes in agriculture.
Latest estimates put the population at fewer than 10,000 in the wild; as a result, the Natterjack toad is considered endangered in Ireland.
The toadlets are the latest to be reared as part of a joint National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) – Fota Wildlife Park project.
Nearly 6,000 toadlets have been successfully released into the wild as part of this initiative to date.